If you are an American adult who is responsible for your own healthcare costs, you know that the price of healthcare in the U.S. can be astounding. The average healthcare cost per individual hit $10,345 according to reports from the Associated Press in July 2016. The national healthcare expenditure topped $3.35 trillion last year. What is driving healthcare prices so high?
A study has been released exposing the top 10 most expensive health conditions in the United States. Diabetes topped the list with a cost of more than $100 billion in 2013. However, in 2012, direct medical costs for diabetes was approximately $176 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association.
In 2012, 9.3% of Americans, or 29.1 million people, had been diagnosed with diabetes. 1.4 million more Americans are diagnosed every year. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. Unfortunately, the number of Americans with pre-diabetes has been increasing. In 2010, an estimated 79 million Americans were pre-diabetic. However, in 2012, that number rose to 86 million.
Following behind diabetes for the most expensive health conditions is heart disease. In 2013, more than $88 billion was spent on costs associated with this disease. Heart disease, which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, is the leading cause of death in the U.S. The Heart Foundation reports that in 2011, 787,000 Americans died from a cardiovascular disease. In fact, more people die of heart disease than all types of cancer combined. Women have led in deaths from heart disease for the last 32 years. 90% of women have a risk factor for this disease.
Back and Neck Pain
Pain associated with the lower back and neck cost Americans $87.6 billion in 2013. It is estimated that 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. This pain could be caused by a variety of factors, such as an accident or injury, or from arthritis.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, accounted for nearly $84 billion in healthcare spending. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, if left untreated. One in three Americans has hypertension. Unfortunately, only about half of Americans suffering from this condition have it under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fall injuries came in fifth place for most expensive health condition, with a total expenditure of $76.3 million. Other injuries that made the Top Ten list of most expensive health conditions are depression and depressive disorders, oral or dental issues, vision or hearing problems, skin conditions, and pregnancy and port-partum care.
A number of factors contributes to the high cost of healthcare in the U.S., but dealing with any of these conditions could mean that you pay even more than the average American for care. When possible, prevention is the best medicine to keep you healthy and to help prevent astronomical healthcare costs. Be sure to follow a nutritious, balanced meal plan and follow exercise and activity guidelines as advised by your doctor. Don’t forget to always request a detailed, itemized statement of what you owe so that you can check for errors and unfair pricing. If you ever need help, contact the professionals at Medical Billing Advocates of America.